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GEORGIA – European Parliament Approves Schengen Visa Waiver for Georgian Nationals

, 13/02/2017

On 2 February 2017, the European Parliament voted to approve visa liberalisation for Georgia, allowing Georgians to travel to the European Union’s Schengen Area without obtaining visas.

Under the visa exemption, Georgians who hold a biometric passport will have the right to enter the EU visa-free for 90 days in any 180-day period, for business, tourist or family purposes, but not to work.

Next Steps

The legislation still needs to be formally approved by the Council of Ministers, and will only enter into force once a suspension mechanism, allowing the temporary reintroduction of visas in the event of migration surges or risks to public security, is in place.

Background

The Schengen Area consists of 22 European Union Member States and four non-members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not yet part of the Schengen Area, but nonetheless have a visa policy that is based on the Schengen area.

The visa waiver does not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland, which have opted out of the Schengen area.

Action Items

  • Note that nationals of Georgia will be allowed to travel to the Schengen Area for tourism, business or family purposes, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa, later this year.